Senior Goodbye: Jenna Shanker

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My journey to the Daily started before freshman year. I was touring the UW campus when I came across the Communication Building and stumbled through the ads door where I was directed to the bright orange newsroom. I had that awed moment that everyone has when they first see it: walls covered in quotes, tables cluttered with recent editions, people chatting in various corners. The room was buzzing, as it always is. I talked to a few people, but it did not seem like the paper was looking for new designers or illustrators, so I pocketed the idea for a time. 

Freshman year went by and I heard little of the paper. I scrambled to figure out what my college life would be like, and what major to pursue. I didn’t have much time to think about extracurriculars, but in the back of my mind, I thought that maybe I would find myself back at The Daily. I felt somewhat lost in the vastness of the UW, overwhelmed by my new major, design. I wanted to find a space in UW’s huge community to call home.

Over the winter break of sophomore year, Monica Neihaus, the design editor at the time, sent out an email to my design cohort, looking for an illustrations editor at The Daily. I wasted no time getting back to her. I had a minimal illustrations background, but Monica was kind and welcoming to me nonetheless. 

My “interview” was incredibly lax. Monica and Rebecca Gross, editor-in-chief at the time, sat me down in a chair in the newsroom and casually chatted about The Daily and design. After the chat was done, Rebecca unexpectedly asked me when I could start. Rebecca and Monica, thank you for taking a chance on me, and for starting my journey at the Daily. My time with you both was short but very impactful. 

My first quarter in the newsroom, I sat next to the wellness editor at the time, Mira Petrillo, my first official friend at The Daily. She helped me feel included and welcomed, surrounded by editors who essentially all already knew each other. Mira, I would like to thank you for being my friend from the beginning and for being the most incredible editor-in-chief. It was truly a pleasure being able to spend my last year at The Daily with you as our leader. You are someone I aspire to be like, and are one of the most thoughtful and powerful women that I know. I cannot wait to see what you do from here.

The design position opened up my junior year. As we all know, you don’t always volunteer for an editorial position at The Daily — more like you find yourself in the position after being lightly coerced by the previous editor. I was no exception to this. Monica and Rebecca kindly requested I take over design, and I was excited to say yes. 

At the same time, Andreas Redd became editor-in-chief and just like that, we were partnered for the summer and upcoming school year, starting with the beast that is known as Welcome Edition. Andreas, thank you for bearing with me as we both learned about our new jobs while simultaneously organizing all of The Daily’s content. There was never a dull moment working with you, you brought an exciting and vibrant energy to the newsroom that made my first year as design editor all the more enjoyable.

From there, I only became more and more comfortable being in the newsroom. I found myself looking forward to meetings, counting the days until the next Hurricane, and inspired by the wealth of information and passion of the people who surrounded me. Two people that mean the most to me in this regard are Manisha Jha and Devon McBride, who became two of my closest friends at The Daily and in general. I cannot even begin to explain how driven and knowledgeable these two people are; they are constantly fighting for what is right. I am forever thankful to them for letting me join them as a friend and inspiring me to follow my passions. Devon, I’m excited to continue seeing your name out there in the political world. Manisha, please keep doing you, and the world will always be the better for it. 

The newsroom can be an arduous place. There’s always more to be done, and I have tremendous admiration for the people that continue to put their time and effort into making The Daily the best it can be, day in and day out. Sam and Trevor, I have never met people that work harder or longer — or later — than you do. I’d like to thank you both for showing me what work ethic really looks like. You are the most selfless people I have met and I am so happy to call you my friends. I look forward to the many hangouts that will continue to happen, Cafe Racer and beyond. You both have no idea how much you impacted my experience at The Daily. You made my time here infinitely more meaningful; I am grateful for you both.

Design at The Daily can be a huge management and organizational challenge. To Dylan, my partner-in-crime this past school year, thank you for taking on that challenge. You stepped in for me and have a knack for managing people that I probably fell short of at times. You have insane levels of self-motivation and your drive to take initiative is truly inspiring. You made the position much more enjoyable as we were both able to give 100% to our respective responsibilities. I am glad we had the chance to work together, and I’d like to think we made a great team.  

Being able to focus solely on Pacific Wave this past year, I am immensely proud of what the magazine has become. I consider it to be my child and am sad to be leaving it, however could not be more excited for what is to come. Abby, without you, Pacific Wave and the paper would not be what it is today. I am so happy that you joined The Daily as illustrations editor, and I have absolutely no worries leaving the visual side of The Daily in your hands. It was always a highlight seeing you in the newsroom and being able to connect and discuss our design work beyond The Daily. I wish you the best in the design program and beyond, but have no doubt you will thrive no matter what you do. 

Pacific Wave has been a huge project to take on, and I could not have done it without the Pac Wave family. To Alyson, Charlotte and Chamidae, thank you for taking the challenge on with me and for the endless laughs. Your attention to the design process made it an exciting and fun experience each quarter. 

Working at The Daily from a non-journalism angle is a unique position to be in. I want to shoutout to all the photographers, illustrators, and media editors that work their butts off to give The Daily’s content an extra dimension. Mo and Lydia, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be my desk neighbors. Lydia, I have no doubt your passion for politics and photography will take you far. Mo, thank you for making me laugh and for being a positive energy in the newsroom. You both made the newsroom a place I looked forward to coming to.

This past quarter posed a lot of new challenges. To all the editors, I think you all did more than anyone would have expected given the circumstance. The Daily has and will continue to inspire me to make a difference and seek wholesome communities in my life. Of all my college experience, The Daily will hands down be the part that I miss the most. I truly cannot believe it is over; it went by in a flash, and I am so thankful for every second of it.

Jenna Shanker

Design Editor Summer 2018 - Spring 2020

Illustrations Editor Winter 2018 - Spring 2018

The Daily Winter 2018 - Spring 2020

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